President Barack Obama’s Attorney General sent a crisp missive to Rand Paul Thursday, responding to the Kentucky Republican’s filibuster to block John Brennan’s nomination for CIA director, over the Obama administration’s drone policy.
The letter, posted in full below, reads simply:
“It has come to my attention that you now have asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponised drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ The answer to that question is no.”
Hearing the letter for the first time on Fox News Thursday, Paul said that the answer satisfies his question.
“HOO-ray!” Paul said, adding that Holder capitulated “under duress.”
During his 13-hour filibuster Wednesday, Paul claimed he would block Brennan’s nomination until the White House answered his question about whether the U.S. could authorise a military strike against U.S. targets.
Paul’s complaint centered around a March 4 letter from Holder, which vaguely stated that the Obama administration could, “hypothetically,” carry out drone strikes against Americans on U.S. soil, but “has no intention of doing so.”
“It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorise the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” Holder wrote in that letter.
Asked by Senate Republicans Wednesday whether that meant the U.S. could kill any suspected terrorist who was not posing an imminent threat, Holder said the question was not “appropriate.”
Here’s the full text of today’s letter:
And here’s the first letter:
Photo: Sen. Rand Paul
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